Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Bill O'Reilly and The Four Churchwomen of El Salvador: Who Was There?

Anyone with even an ounce of objectivity can deduce that FoxNews commentator Bill O’Reilly is a hyperbolic blowhard and a journalist in the same way that David Bowie is a lion tamer, so the reports of his exaggerations of reporting he did in the early 80s just after the Falklands War should come as no surprise to anyone.

However, now that people are giving his books and commentary a closer look, they’re finding all sorts of shaggy dog stories.

One of them I find particularly offensive.

O'Reilly has claimed he has ‘seen guys gun down nuns in El Salvador’ and ‘was in El Salvador and I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head’.

What he can only be referring to is the murders of Maryknoll Sisters Dorothy Kazel, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, and laywoman Jean Donovan.

On the afternoon of 2 December 1980, Kazel and Donovan picked up Ford and Clarke from the airport in San Salvador.

The four didn’t realize they were under surveillance by five out-of-uniform National Guard soldiers.

The five soldiers phoned their superiors for orders, which they received…

They stopped the vehicle the women were driving, and the women were then taken to an isolated part of countryside where they were beaten, raped and murdered.

Peasants living nearby reported seeing the women's van drive to the isolated area at about 10 p.m.
They then heard machine gun fire followed by single shots, and saw five men flee the scene.

The van was later found burned out.

The women’s bodies were later found in a ditch.

Despite efforts by Salvadoran- and some American- officials to cover up the details of the violence, the five soldiers were eventually sent to prison.

The officers who gave them their orders immigrated to the US.

And the FoxNews host who blithely says he witnessed the killings? The words of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel chapter 12 spring to mind:

Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not be made known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.

O’Reilly says he saw it; he says he was there…

But he wasn’t there;  

He couldn’t have been there.

No one was there… except for the women,

their killers,

and- I believe- Christ and the angels who held them and comforted them as they died.  

But the important fact is this:

Bill O’Reilly wasn’t there…